• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

Life changing experience, musically speaking?


going through the Bill Nelson/Be Bop Deluxe thread here, it got me to thinking about early gigs I went to. One stands out as life changing musically. In 1976 I walked 10 miles to a gig in a neighbouring town. I got in there to be met by Pat Travers, Mars Cowling and Nico McBrain. It was shockingly great. I never realised you could do that stuff with the music or the instruments. It was super tight with lots of time signatures and stops, power and quality. I'd seen lots of players smoothly bending strings and doing swells with the volume control - Cowling played a battered old Precision that way. Travers was the first player I ever saw dive-bomb a guitar. Thing was, he didnt have a tremolo system on his poor defenceless little Melody Maker - he did it by bending the neck. And through a screaming small box half stack! Trick after trick came out. I went home with an entirely different perspective on music. Looking back PT was 22 at the time...

I just wondered - has this happened to any of you guys, if so, who and when?


Beatles on Ed Sullivan.

A HS yard party I played, with the first really good band I was in.

Stones at Boston Garden in '72.

Eric Johnson in a 200-seat club on the Ah Via Musicom tour.
'74 going to high school in the the Rio Grand Valley and heard La Grange on the radio for the first time.

The number reason I ever picked up a guitar.

Scott Miller

McCoy Tyner when I was about 18 years old. Stanley Turrentine opened. I had never seen live jazz before. My head exploded.


Gold Supporting Member
Any Monday night in the summer and fall of 1978. It was guitar night at a jazz club about 5 miles away. I missed Joe Pass, but sat at the feet (literally) of Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow, Jim Hall, etc..

I'd go home with ass kicked and brain full of music. Still can't play jazz myself, but hearing these guys from a few feet away had a huge impact on me and what I thought guitars should sound like.


Silver Supporting Member
When I was 17, we'd been at a party and spilled out at around 2am. We stumbled into someone else's house (I know not whose) and everyone, growing quiet sat or lay down on the floor while a friend turned on the record player. Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven came on. Volume went up, lights went off, we all lay on our backs, eyes closed in the dark, and allowed the power of that record to wash over us. At the end, no one could speak.


Silver Supporting Member
I remember a friend loaned me his new 2-cassette tape set of Delicate Sound of Thunder. I listened on my Walkman on the walk home from school. Tape 2 started just as I got home... Just lay with headphones listening beginning to end. First warm spring day of the year.

I also remember the first time I ditched school in 7th grade and stumbled upon my brothers Led Zeppelin IV album. I had no idea what it sounded like until the needle dropped.

Same thing when I snatched his Moving Picture LP that he made a big deal about saving up for.

It's weird that I remember the events in that order, but they happened at ages 14, 13, and 11 respectively.

More recently, I recall my wife, before we were married, buying me tickets to see Eric Clapton (Pilgrim tour) and she was moved to crying during river of tears.


Silver Supporting Member
Eric Clapton, Royal Albert Hall 84 ish with Mark Knopfler. Kiiiilllller!!
First Dead show 90, compton Terrace Phoenix az.
X in Tucson 91 or something like that. Club gig. 200 people there.........

Mark Robinson

Platinum Supporting Member
King Crimson at the Shrine Auditorium in June of 1974. One of my first concerts for rock or pop, I'd seen the LA Philharmonic. Crimson made a lot of the current music that was on FM sound crude and or weak. Ripped our heads off.

I went to some amazing Zappa concerts shortly thereafter. That was one of the best bands ever put together, in my opinion. Two drummers, Ralph Humphrey and Chester Thompson, Tom Fowler on bass, George Duke on keyboards, Ruth Underwood on vibraphone and percussion, Napoleon Murphy Brock on sax and vox. Walt Fowler on Trumpet, an amazing ensemble.

Frank Prince

Silver Supporting Member
I had heard very little of Tribal Tech, just a couple of bars of music hear and there on a bad car system, when I bought the Illicit album. I had very high expectations when I bought the CD, both from Guitar Player magazine articles and a fellow music teacher at the store I was working at.

The first song, The Big Wave, starts out with a pretty cheezy sounding smooth jazz/RnB keyboard cadenza. I had it cranked up, and immediately thought "Wow, this sucks, what are all these people talking about?" As you know if you've heard the album, the jazz cheese part ends with kind of a speeded up album wipe effect, and then segues into a WICKED drum/bass/guitar riff that sounds more like metal than anything else. As soon as that came up, I was like YEEEAAAAHHHHH, and was totally captivated and knocked out by the rest of the album.

I had heard Weather Report, Chick Corea, etc. a lot before that, but nothing like the 1-2 punch of Henderson's guitar and Willis's bass playing on those kind of compositions.


Ive had 3 -Randy Rhoads Diary tour-EVH Women and Children first tour-Eric Johnson-Tones tour small club-massive sound


Silver Supporting Member
The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, specifically the show with their cover of Roll Over Beethoven.
George's guitar intro on that made me want to learn to play.
I went with my bass player to see the late great Charlie Byrd trio at his 'house' gig at the 'King of France' tavern in Annapolis MD. About a 3 hours/2 sets.

I wanted to burn/sell my guitars after that one. He turned out to be one of the nicest, most polite, people I have ever casually met. A gentleman and a monstrous player.

'Outside' voicings became the order of the day...
Last edited:

Funky Chicken

Silver Supporting Member
Holdsworth/Berlin/Wackerman at a tiny club in Cambridge, Mass about 2 weeks after arriving at Berklee
Michael Hedges with Pierre Bensusan opening
U2 Zooropa tour at Giants Stadium


By the time I was 17 I had already been to several concerts but the night that I saw Mountain play, I had no idea that a guitar could sound so powerful!! Changed my way how I looked at music.

Trending Topics

Top Bottom